Black & Decker, 750W Power Inverter (00885911016872) Reviews
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Black & Decker, 750W Power Inverter (00885911016872)

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The Black & Decker PI750AB 750Watt MSW Inverter Is Ideal For 500 Watt Loads.

Jun 21, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy soft touch on/off button, slow power up to handle high loads efficiently

Cons:Modified Sine Wave (MSW) is unclean, pulls more power than the average buyer can supply.

The Bottom Line:

You can power a 120VAC drill or your laptop while on the road with the Black & Decker PI750AB 750Watt Inverter but watch out for massive battery drains above 500watts!


I am slowly building a solar panel array and soon found that I had excess power production.  After visiting Amazon.com, I saw that the Black & Decker PI750AB 750 Watt inverter was being sold at a good price of just $80 and thought it would be a good solution for powering some of my household electrical devices.

Read On To Find Out!

How Can I Determine How Many Watts My Electrical Device Consumes?
I cannot overstate how important this step is, so it will go first.  When you buy an inverter, you must ensure that it provides enough power for the needs of your electrical device.  Many electrical tools, appliances, audio/visual equipment and electronic devices have labels that indicate the power consumption in amps or watts.  If the power consumption is rated in amps AC on the label, simply multiply by the AC volts (115) to determine the maximum wattage needed.  Be sure that the power consumption of the item or sum of all items to be operated is below 750 watts or this inverter IS NOT GOING to do the job for you.  If you connect devices that pull too much power, you will damage the internal circuitry of the inverter and the manufacturer will not refund your purchase.

How Big Is The 750 Watt Black & Decker Inverter?
The physical dimensions of this device are quite striking when you consider the amount of power it can handle.  The inverter looks like a car stereo amplifier but it has technology inside that will make those overpriced units blush with envy.  For those looking to maximize space in a truck or automotive trunk install, the Black & Decker Inverter measures 2.5” tall, 6.5” wide, 8.5” deep with thumbscrews and rubber feet extending these dimensions.  The inverter weighs about 5 lbs which is very light for a product of this caliber!

The product box securely holds the PI750AB inverter in a two piece plastic shell which protects it while shipping.  In addition to the inverter, the box contains two 10 page instruction manuals.  One manual in English and the other is in Spanish.  A product warranty card rounds out the supplied documentation.  If you only want to use the inverter periodically, I recommend keeping the box and placing the inverter back inside.  Since these products contain sensitive, high amperage, solid state electronics, the threat of oxidation is severe.  Protecting your investment is key if you want to continue using this for years to come.

So you want to create 750Watts of 120VAC power, then get ready to suck some juice!
Powering a drill or a 1/3HP sump pump as a waterfall for you swimming pool is not easy work.  The luxury of just pressing a button comes at a price, your average car battery is going to be drained dry in no time flat!  The product covered in this review is capable of producing 750 Watts or 6.52 Amps of 120VAC power.  You must understand that this is an enormous amount of power to pull from a standard car battery and trying to get all of this power is going to require a specialized understanding of how 12VDC batteries work.

Of course, pulling the continuous load of 750Watts of 120VAC for your electronic gadget can only happen if you have either directly connect the PI750AB inverter directly to the battery without a fuse with robust, soldered lugs or you can take the safe route with a 150 AMP Buss Fuses HI-Amp Waterproof Circuit Breaker.

Installation
As already mentioned, I used a 150 AMP Buss Fuses HI-Amp Waterproof Circuit Breaker BP/CB185-150 on the positive lead of this inverter.  On the negative pole, I directly connected the inverter using the supplied cabling to my battery with the wire split into three lugs to ensure any amperage needed was readily available.

Place the inverter in a position that has open ventilation when in operation.  You should also make sure that no cloth or flammable objects are touching or within 3 inches of this device that can get hot.

750 Watt Power Inverter:  Operation And My Experiences
Turning on the inverter is rather easy.  Press a little soft touch button and a green light comes on.  If you are pulling to much power a red light appears.  If there is a problem powering up, a yellow light will appear for a second or so.  To turn it off, just press the button again and all lights turn off.  Depending on the load, the twin powerful cooling fans change their spin speed and do a nice job of keeping the inverter cool.  I have been able to keep this inverter running continuously for at least 48 hours without a problem.  The only time I lose power is when the battery runs down or I plug a device which draws too much current.

As follows is a compilation of my experiences with using this product with various electronic devices:

ASUS 1005HA Netbook Recharging – PASS
The EXA0901XH power adapter for the ASUS 1005HA netbook pulls about 50 watts of power and puts very little strain on this inverter.  In fact I use the inverter daily to recharge the 6-cell Lithium Ion battery when I get home from work.  Getting my portable computer charged with solar power is a thrilling accomplishment that inspires me to continue my efforts!

Hair Dryer Set To Low - PASS
Using the Kill-A-Watt P440 meter, I found the hair dryer pulled 810 watts with these settings.  I was able to run it for 25 minutes before the inverter emitted a long beep sound and shut off.  It automatically resumed operation in about 30 seconds as the HQRP 50 Watt solar panel filled the Group 24 Gel-Cel up enough to run again.

Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-Ray Player - PASS
To help get through a hurricane when the power is out and the house is dark because I cannot plug in a generator, I was hoping that my Samsung BD-P3600 Blu-Ray Player would work with this inverter.  Luckily, the electronics powered up on inverter power and I was able to navigate the menu of a DVD with no problems.

Samsung 63” PN63B550 Plasma Television - PASS
The Samsung 63” television pulls up to 650 watts during normal operation.  The inverter was able to power it but the modified sine wave produced a loud buzzing sound while the transformers inside the television converted the incoming power.

M-53 ZOELLER MIGHTY MATE SUMP PUMP 1/3HP Sump Pump – FAIL
The pump pulls 1425 watts according to my Kill A Watt P4400 so I was not surprised that the inverter showed a red LED when the pump was plugged in.

Original Power No.Ys24 24v Cordless 10" Trimmer Recharging – FAIL
The transformer in this product is not compatible because after 24 hours of charging, it failed to recharge. 

WORX 18 Cordless 120 MPH Blower Sweeper Recharging – FAIL
The transformer in this product is not compatible because after 24 hours of charging, it failed to recharge.  


Technical Specifications Of The Black & Decker PI750AB 750Watt Inverter
Maximum Continuous Power:  750 watts
Surge Capacity: 1500 watts
USB Output:  5 VDC (300ma)
Input Voltage:  12.8 VDC
Output Voltage:  115 VAC 60Hz
Low Voltage Alarm:  11 +/- 0.3 VDC
Low Voltage Shutdown:  10.5 +/- 0.3 VDC
Thermal Shutdown:  Automatic
Wave Form:  Modified Sine Wave (MSW)
Fuses:  Internal

Summary
I have mixed opinions of this product.  On the one hand the PI750AB inverter barely heats up while under a 300 watt load from a 2 Amp electric drill or an 810 Watt hair dryer.  Yet, the inverter powered my Samsung 63” Plasma television with a total 650 Watt load but with a loud buzzing sound that is so annoying using it will be a strain on my ears.  The Modified Sine Wave (MSW) is not something that you want to run your sensitive computer equipment on.  Well, you can but I just do not feel good about the sounds my electronics make.  Regardless of whether high amperage devices will work with the inverter, I am going to have to use another inverter to charge my cordless power tools with my solar charged battery bank.  For this reason alone, I just cannot recommend this product as a general purpose solution for all electronics that pull less than 750 watts.  I may have to spend over $500 to get a pure sine wave inverter, but it will be worth it knowing that I can plug in anything that I want to.

In all I would give the Black & Decker PI750AB Inverter one thumb up and one thumb down.


Recommend this product? No


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